TechCrunch Startup Battlefield returns to Africa next month, and we have an agenda chock-full of interesting panels and our premier startup competition.
Joining us in Lagos, Nigeria on December 11 for a couple of those aforementioned panels will be Chris Folayan, the founder and CEO of Mall for Africa; Nichole Yembra, chief financial, risk and investment officer for Venture Garden Group (VGG) and a managing partner at GreenHouse Capital; and Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, partner at Hacked Capital.
Chris Folayan, who is originally from Nigeria, graduated from California State University, San Jose, and founded and sold several companies globally. He also established new companies in Africa, the U.S., the Middle East and Asia. Mall for Africa is a global economy e-commerce infrastructure company enabling Africans to purchase items directly from international online retailers in the U.S. and Europe, as well as local online retailers in Africa.
At VGG, Nichole Yembra is responsible for investor relations and the financial strategy of the seven technology companies under its umbrella as they serve public and private clients across the aviation, power, education, financial services, and social investment sectors. Through GreenHouse Capital, Nichole takes on fintech-enabled portfolio companies looking to transform the education, renewable energy, big data and fintech ecosystems.
The portfolio companies’ products have connected over 3,000 students to tutors, revolutionized off-grid solar solutions and increased banking services of Nigeria’s nearly 84.6 million unbanked population. In addition to this work, Nichole is committed to making gender diversity a priority within the fintech space in Nigeria and enhancing opportunities for women in leadership.
Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi is a co-founder of SureGifts, a Nigeria-based gift card retailer and technology provider. Olaoluwa joined the founding team of Jumia in 2012 to work on business intelligence and commercial planning, before leaving to build SureGifts. He also consults on investment and financial strategy for Venture Garden Group. He studied Accounting and Finance at the University of the West Indies, Barbados.
And of course, the main event will be Startup Battlefield. Fifteen companies will compete in front of a live audience and top judges for a shot at US$25,000 USD in no-equity cash plus a trip for two to compete in Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch’s flagship event, Disrupt in 2019 (assuming the company still qualifies to compete at this time).
Startup Battlefield Africa is right around the corner and you can get your tickets here.